Open data platforms

Original Photo from Wikimedia commons

There is increasingly more and more open data being published. With more data there is also an increase in the type and complexity of data publishing platforms available. These provide tools for data publishing, data sharing and data discoverability.

Some of the more common ones with examples, in no particular order, are listed below:


  • CKAN CKAN is a powerful data management system that makes data accessible — by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. CKAN is aimed at data publishers (national and regional governments, companies and organizations) wanting to make their data open and available. (Example:
  • DKAN The open source open data platform with a full suite of cataloging, publishing and visualization features that allows organizations to easily share data with the public. (Example: Cambridgeshire Insight Open Data)
  • Socrata Socrata is the market leader in Cloud-based Data Democratization solutions for Government (CDDG). Socrata provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) data platform and cloud applications exclusively for city, county, state and federal government organizations, allowing government data to be discoverable, usable, and actionable for government knowledge workers and the citizens they serve. (Example: Sheffield City Council Open Data)
  • Swirrl — Swirrl provide a comprehensive platform for all stages of the data publication lifecycle (Example: Office for National Statistics (ONS) Geography Linked Data site)
  • DataPress DataPress is an engine for publishing data. It powers the world’s leading data portals (Example: London DataStore).
  • Redbridge DataShare DataShare is being developed as a way to make accessing and inspecting this data easier for everyone; as well as simpler for developers wishing to use the data in their applications, web sites and widgets. (Example: Datashare | London Borough of Redbridge)
  • InstantAtlas Online Data Store The InstantAtlas Online Data Store (IAODS) contains key statistics across a range of themes used by public sector organisations, private sector companies, charities and not-for-profits. The purpose of the data store is to remove the need for organisations to have to collect and manage these data themselves. This means that researchers and analysts can quickly combine key national data sets with other relevant data that they hold locally or from open data sites. (Example: Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council | KingstonData)
  • ESRI ArcGIS Open Data Esri-hosted ArcGIS Open Data gives you a quick way to set up public-facing websites where people can easily find and download your open data in a variety of open formats. (Example: Office for National Statistics (ONS) | Open Geography Portal)
  • A plain old website. Get some data, publish it on a website in a useable format (csv, xls) and this is a great start to getting more data out there. It’s basic but the key thing is to make sure that this data is useable, accessible and discoverable so that it can be utilised by others. Check out the 5 *s of open data for more details on the different levels of open data and some of the key costs and benefits associated with each. It is important to remember the definition of open data in all this:
Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike. — Open Data Handbook, Open Knowledge International

Next steps

The next steps for open data and data platforms is looking at enabling big data solutions to develop by improving the sustainability and interoperability of the platforms. These developments are happening fast especially for programmes such as smart cities, autonomous vehicles, data analytics and environmental monitoring.

We must ensure that communities, public sector and businesses are aware and contributing to them to enable these disparate groups to evolve with the data together.

For more information on what is happening with open data, open data tech and platforms these sources are a good way to keep up-to-date and learn more:

And this video from TED and Tim Berners-Lee is an oldie but a goodie:

Ted Talk- Time Berners-Lee: The next web of open, linked data

So what platforms are missing? Please add them in the comments below, especially any glaring omissions on my part.

Update 19/10/2016: Thanks to Owen Boswarva for the additional platforms on this list.

Update 01/11/2016: @ldodds has mentioned Octopub as a platform to Publish data easily, quickly and correctly: Octohub:Got a dataset you want to publish, but not sure how to do it? Octopub will help you do it, quickly, easily and correctly. Using the power of GitHub, we will provide you with a platform to publish your CSV data, as well as automatically creating a webpage for you to point people to.